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In This Issue
From the Dean
Next Chapter Event
Renew Your Membership Now
Directory and Newsletter Advertising
From St. Thomas Church: Inquiry and Announcement
Members From the Past
Can You Identify This Member From the Past?
Olivier Latry at Our Lady of Refuge Church, Brooklyn

From the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

Our program year began in magnificent fashion on Monday, September 23 when Dr. Patrick Allen and the Grace Church parish graciously welcomed the chapter to an open house and demonstration of their newly installed Taylor and Boody organ. Fr. Donald Waring, the Rector of Grace Church, warmly welcomed those in attendance and gave us a bit of the history of Grace Church and the organ project. We were most fortunate to have the esteemed organbuilder John Boody present to talk extensively about his firm’s magnum opus at Grace Church. Phillip Lamb, organ scholar at Grace Church, Kalle Toivio and our own Sub-Dean David Enlow admirably demonstrated the wonderful resources of the Grace Church organ with works by Dupré, Elgar, Messiaen and Vierne. McNeil Robinson provided us with a brilliant and memorable improvisation and proved yet again to all why is he considered one of the foremost improvisers in the world. We are most grateful to Dr. Allen, Mr. Lamb, Fr. Waring and Grace Church for hosting this wonderful event and treating us to a lovely reception after the program. For the Dean, it was heartwarming to see so many old and new faces in attendance. Congratulations to Grace Church for bringing this stunning new organ to New York City!

Our next chapter event is on Tuesday, October 15 at the Church of the Incarnation with Dr. Matthew Lewis as our host. This event will be an organbuilding knowledge base discussion led by our own NYC chapter organbuilders, John Bishop and Sebastian Glück. A mini-recital by the Chapter’s 2011 playing competition winner, Michael Hey, will precede the talk. You will find more information about this event later in this newsletter.

I would like to recognize and thank the following members who have generously made monetary contributions to the chapter in addition to their dues:(in order of receipt) Craig Whitney, Vivian Fletcher, Steve Lawson, William Maul, Nancianne Parrella, Victoria Sirota, Harry Wilkinson, John Byrne, Arthur Lawrence, Donald McDonald, Kalle Toivio, Jonathan Riss, Robert Vogel, Neal Campbell, James Litton, Lawrence Trupiano and Marianne Decker.

We are currently accepting paid advertisements for our 2013-14 Annual Directory. As members well know, our directory is a handsome publication designed by Len Levasseur. Len will again be designing our directory for 2013-14. Please do consider advertising in this directory. With the new pricing, it is well worth your publicity dollars. More information about advertising can be found later in this newsletter.

On behalf of the Board, I send our very best wishes to you. We hope that you will be able to partake of the many offerings the chapter and NYC have to offer this fall.

Respectfully yours,

Keith S. Tóth

  Michael Hey, organist

Next Chapter Event

TUESDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2013 • 5:30 PM

Organbuilding Knowledge Base

John Bishop and Sebastian Glück

with a short recital by

Michael Hey, organist

Church of the Incarnation (Episcopal)
209 Madison Avenue at 35th Street
Host: Dr. Matthew Lewis
5:30 Recital; discussion follows

Admission: Free to NYC Chapter members; $20 general

A presentation by two chapter members who are organbuilders. John Bishop, Executive Director of the Organ Clearing House, and Sebastian M. Glück, Artistic and Tonal Director of Glück Pipe Organs, will conduct an intensive seminar about the fundamentals of pipe organ construction and care. They will provide the accurate vocabulary you need to clearly discuss the instrument you play with your organ builder or curator, as well as guidelines for organists and houses of worship to evaluate and elevate the ongoing care of their pipe organs.

Michael Hey, winner of the Chapter's 2011 playing competition, will present a short recital before the event. Mr. Hey is a student of Paul Jacobs at the Juilliard School, and is Assistant Organist at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.

David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper   Best Wishes to All from Yvonne L. Sonnenwalk-Melin

Renew Your Membership Now

Renew Your Membership before November 1

In order to be included in the NYC AGO chapter directory, your membership renewal needs to be received by November 1. Go to the chapter website to the Membership page. There you will find options to renew online using PayPal or print a renewal form to be mailed to chapter registrar Larry Long. Don’t delay – do it today!

David Enlow FAGO

Directory and Newsletter Advertising

Take advantage of the new, lower prices for placing an ad in the 2014 NYC AGO Membership Directory. Some ad sizes also include a free ad in the monthly newsletter. Therefore, you get two ads in two publications for the price of one!

The deadline for the receipt of ads and payment is December 1. All prices and size information may be found on the chapter website.

Arthur Lawrence   David Lloyd ben Yaacov Klepper

From St. Thomas Church: Inquiry and Announcement

Our colleague John Scott writes:

John Scott Whiteley, formerly Organist of York Minster has been in touch with me enquiring about some of Noble’s organ music. He’ll be recording the complete works at York in October. There are two pieces that he has been unable to track down. They are:

Festival Prelude in D Minor (A.P Schmidt, n.d.) and Fantasy on an Italian theme in F Minor (A. P. Schmidt, 1927)

If anyone has any information to share, please be in touch with John at jscott@saintthomaschurch.org

Saint Thomas Church would also like to make everyone aware of a composition competition they are holding in honor of the tenth annniversary of their Girls Summer Course to be held in the summer of 2015.

Details are on the music page of Saint Thomas' website.

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  Alec Wyton (1921 - 2007)
  Alec Wyton (1921–2007)

Members from the Past

Keith Bigger, Chris Babcock, Rick Tripodi, David Higgs, and Bill Randolph each correctly identified Alec Wyton in last month's issue.

The photograph at right appeared in the December 1950 issue of The Diapason announcing Wyton's appointment to Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis.

Alexander Francis Wyton, his given name, was born in London on August 3, 1921. He was a choirboy at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Northampton and his first teacher was Ralph Richardson Jones. At age twelve, after his voice changed, he held his first church position as organist of a village church. After graduating from high school he held apprentice jobs in chemistry and law before joining the Royal Signal Corps. During his military service he prepared for his F.R.C.O. examinations which he passed at age nineteen. Formal organ study included work at the Royal Academy of Music where he studied with the legendary virtuoso G. D. Cunningham. He received his B.A. from Exeter College of Oxford University in 1945. While at Oxford he was organ scholar and sub-organist of Christ Church Cathedral working under Sir Thomas Armstrong.

In 1946 Wyton was appointed organist and choirmaster of St. Matthew's Church in Northampton where the Vicar, the Rev. Walter Hussey, had inaugurated a program of commissioning works to celebrate the parish's patronal feast each year. Two years before Wyton arrived Britten wrote Rejoice in the Lamb for that occasion, and it was during Wyton's first year in Northampton that Britten that wrote his only organ work, Prelude and Fugue on a Theme of Vittoria, for him.

In 1950 Alec Wyton was invited by the Bishop of Dallas to come to Texas and create a boy choir. He accomplished this in six months at what is now St. Mark's School in Dallas. In September of that year he became the Organist and Choirmaster of Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, a position he held until he came to New York in 1954 to be the Organist and Master of the Choristers and (later) Headmaster of the choir school at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

His work flourished in his early years at the cathedral, as he maintained a rigorous schedule of daily rehearsals and services in the English cathedral tradition of his predecessors Miles Farrow and Norman Coke-Jephcott. He relinquished his duties as Headmaster in 1962. As the liturgical innovations of the 1960s gained momentum, Wyton responded in kind, furnishing the cathedral with a wide range of musical expression, commissioning works from Duke Ellington, Ned Rorem, and Benjamin Britten, as well as offering his own compositions for use in the trial liturgies which emerged prior to the new Book of Common Prayer. He also was responsible for bringing personalities such as Leopold Stokowski and the cast of "Hair" to the cathedral.

He was the president of the American Guild of Organists from 1964-1969 and was twice dean of the NYC Chapter. He also taught at various times at Union Theological Seminary, Westminster Choir College, and Manhattan School of Music.

He left St. John the Divine in 1974 to take the position at St. James' Church on Madison Avenue, where he remained eleven years. The story has been widely told of St. James' Rector calling Wyton asking for a recommendation to fill the vacant position and Wyton replied somethng to the effect of "would you consider an aging cathedral organist?" During his time at St. James he was the coordinator for the Episcopal Church's Standing Committee on Church Music which produced the Hymnal 1982, the hymnal still used in the Episcopal Church.

In 1985 he moved to Ridgefield, Conn., to become the Minister of Music at St. Stephen's Church, a church he had known since his early cathedral days when he would take choirboys annually for a day in the country at the nearby estate of a cathedral patron, which always concluded with Evensong at St. Stephen's.

Wyton was a prolific composer of music for choir and organ, some of which is still in print. For the legendary 1956 national convention of the AGO he wrote Fanfare for the State Trumpet which was premiered by Charlotte Garden at St. John the Divine. It was later published by H. W. Gray titled simply Fanfare and is dedicated "to G. Donald Harrison who created the State Trumpet." Harrison was known to have said that it was the only piece of music ever dedicated to him.

Alec's funeral was held on Friday, March 23, 2007 at St. Stephen's Church in Ridgefield, Conn., and his ashes are interred in the columbarium of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

Can You Identify This Member From the Past?

. . . and, if so, tell us if she is perhaps still alive?

The next chapter newsletter is the November 2013 issue. The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2013. Material may be submitted to Neal Campbell, Editor. Nine issues are published through the year on a monthly basis with combined issues for December/January, May/June, and July/August. To make changes in your email address or to subscribe to the e-newsletter, please contact Larry Long, Registrar.